This guest post is by Deanna Kahler, an adoptive mother and author.
I never dreamed that both of my pregnancies would end in miscarriage. It wasn’t part of my plan.
As a young woman, I thought I had everything all figured out. I would have two children by the time I was 30 — one girl and one boy.
It seemed like the perfect plan; only life had something else in store for me.
When I found myself still childless at 35, I was heartbroken.
I had longed to be a mother for so long, and it didn’t seem fair that I had suffered so much.
I had already lost two babies and found out I had an autoimmune issue that causes recurrent pregnancy loss.
I had also struggled with severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression as a result of my challenging life experiences.
After considering the risks of attempting another pregnancy, my husband and I decided to adopt.
For the first time in many years, my hope of becoming a mom was restored.
The adoption process was harder than I thought. Those of you who are waiting to adopt know exactly what I mean.
Aside from the paperwork, home study, background checks, health exams and other required hoops, there are a lot of ups and downs.
Some days you’re excited that you are on the road to becoming a parent; other days you wonder if it will ever happen.
You shed a lot of tears and do a lot of praying. But through it all, you learn some very important life lessons.
You are stronger than you think.
Adoption and infertility can be grueling experiences.
Not only are you grieving the loss of the child you thought you’d have, but you’re also faced with a lot of uncertainty about the future.
You feel lost, out of control and often emotional.
Every time some else becomes pregnant or you attend a much-dreaded baby shower, the feelings of despair hit you all over again.
And with each failed match or disappointment, you must grieve once again.
However, when you get to the end, you’ll realize how much stronger you are.
Despite all you’ve been through, you never gave up.
You faced some of your worst fears and overcame them. You are a survivor!
Good things really do come to those who wait.
I remember being discouraged when it was taking so long to adopt.
My aunt told me it was because God had a very special baby in mind for me.
I wasn’t sure I believed it at the time, but she was so right.
When our daughter finally arrived, everything felt right. It was as if she belonged in our family.
So, on your bad days, remind yourself: In the end, this will all be worth it.
Every tear, every disappointment and every challenge puts you one step closer to the child you are meant to have.
He or she will come when the time is right.
Everything happens for a reason.
Earlier in the adoption process, we were matched with a couple of expectant moms.
These matches didn’t work out, and it was very disappointing.
One in particular was especially hard because we had to make the difficult choice to not pursue the adoption.
Although I knew the situation warranted our decision, I felt like we were passing up our opportunity to become parents.
In reality, we were being led to the child who was meant to be a part of our family.
When we were finally matched with our daughter’s birth mother, everything felt right.
Things just fell into place. It was as if we had been waiting for this child all along.
As you navigate through the adoption process, know that you are in for quite a ride.
But when you reach the end of your journey, it will all make sense.
Holding that precious baby in your arms for the first time is a joy like no other.
Imagine that moment and savor it. In time, it will come to you.
Best of luck on your adoption journey!
Award-winning author Deanna Kahler is a proud mom and freelance writer with more than 20 years of professional experience. She is passionate about adoption and seeks to inspire others and make a difference in their lives. She enjoys spending time with her family — hanging out in parks, near lakes or anywhere that can soothe her soul and give her a sense of peace and serenity. Check out her webpage at www.deannakahler.com.
Do you have an open adoption story? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.
Help us remove the stigma surrounding open adoption. Like us on Facebook.